mickey and minnie christmas parade at magic kingdom
Christmas at Walt Disney World: Winter Holiday Magic!

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Christmas at Walt Disney World is a stunning display of lights, decorations, characters, parade floats, shows and more to celebrate all that this beautiful time of year has to offer.

The holiday season at Walt Disney World will begin on November 12, 2021 during “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” which is dedicated to celebrate the resort’s 50th anniversary.

epcot international festival of the holidays

© Disney

Magic Kingdom Park

Visiting the Magic Kingdom is special anytime of the year, but with Walt Disney World Resort celebrating its 50th anniversary this winter holiday season will be extra special. Let the celebration begin with fantastic sights and amazing delights as you get wrapped up in all things joyful and bright.

disney's very merryiest after hours special event

Disney Very Merriest After Hours

This year is a little different than years past at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is no longer available and is being replaced with “Disney Very Merriest After Hours”.

This new special-ticketed extravaganza will debut Nov. 8 before all of the other holiday activities. It will be available on select nights through Dec. 21, 2021. Disney Very Merriest After Hours includes “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks”, as well as Disney characters throughout the park, holiday music and décor, some goodies are provided, and so much more will delight visitors during the four-hour event!

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks replaces the Holiday Wishes fireworks show. Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks is not to be missed. This nighttime spectacular is hosted by Minnie Mouse, and it celebrates the magic of Christmas with medleys of much loved holiday songs.

The fireworks show has many holiday musical favorites and features Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time”. The special holiday video projections on Cinderella Castle will be incredible with the end result being the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. The entire display evokes endearing memories of home and family, and the spirit of the season before a fantastic finale.

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade

Yay! Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade is returning for 2021. All of Disney’s parades were cancelled last year due to the Covid pandemic but in a surprise announcement Walt Disney World says that Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade will be returning during the Very Merriest After Hours. This is the first full parade since Walt Disney World reopening.

For full effect we recommend watching the parade on Main Street, USA. The parade features excellent lighting, ambiance, and SNOW! However during the Christmas and New Year’s weeks, you won’t experience much of a difference if you watch anywhere along the parade route. The floats are adorable, the music is catchy, and there’s a wide selection of Disney and Christmas-themed characters.

Just like other Disney After Hours events, there will be a limited number of tickets sold. As the name implies “Disney Very Merriest After Hours” is held after regular park operating hours, so you can expect lower wait times and access to more than 20 select attractions.

christmas parade at walt disney world

© Disney

Jingle Cruise

The Jingle Cruise is also returning for 2021 after being absent in 2020. The popular ride “The Jungle Cruise ‘ transforms into the “The Jingle Cruise”. Boats and ships are decorated and named in a Christmas theme. The skippers are all homesick and their banter is all about how they want to spend Christmas back home.

This ride gets very busy during the Christmas season, so make sure that you prioritize it while making your park plan. If you want to get the most from this holiday themed ride consider doing the Jingle Cruise at night to get the full experience of the Christmas light display.

Cinderella Castle Holiday Projections

Unfortunately Cinderella Castle Dream Lights will not be returning in 2021 however Cinderella Castle Holiday projections will be back. These are a variety of projection patterns, including colorful stripes and dots, a playful Christmas sweater design, an opulent winter castle with sparkling gems, and a regal red-and-green-and-gold design.

Each of these is essentially a Christmas-themed animated backdrop. There are some moving elements and features, but it’s not what would be considered a projection. The whole area is illuminated by spotlights and trees, which are also bathed in the same lights as the projections. These holiday-themed projections will rotate with the “Beacons of Magic” 50th Anniversary ones.

Walt Disney World will be open for Christmas, with a variety of events and festivities to make this season one you’ll never forget. From Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade to the Jingle Cruise, Walt Disney World has something for everyone during the holiday season!

For those who are looking to experience Walt Disney World’s best attractions without long waits or crowds, Walt Disney World Very Merry After Hours offers an exclusive opportunity after park operating hours where guests can enjoy access to more than 20 select attractions. If you’re considering Walt Disney world as your destination this winter break, don’t wait too long because tickets sell out quickly!

cinderella castle christmas projections

© Disney

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